Addabbo, Ariola, Schulman Partner with CUNY to Bring Immigration Services to Queens

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.

February 9, 2024

Senator Joe Addabbo joins Counncilwoman Joann Ariola and Monique Francis, Interim Executive Director, CUNY Citizenship Now! as they view team members hard at work reviewing applications.

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. teamed up with CUNY Now! and City Council Members Joann Ariola and Lynn Schulman to bring a citizenship event to the district as part of the "Become a Citizen: Opportunities Await" series. The event was held on February 3, at P.S. 60 in Woodhaven. 

Some 140 people signed up for the event, which ran like a well-oiled machine. Everyone was helped in a professional, smooth, and timely manner. Despite the high volume of attendees, CUNY Now! staff, volunteers and lawyers had everything well organized. 

The program aims to assist green card holders in applying for U.S. citizenship, providing them with access to benefits such as the ability to vote, easier travel, new job prospects, increased income potential, and other financial advantages. Furthermore, the children of applicants could automatically obtain U.S. citizenship.

All services at the event were provided free of charge, and participants were given guidance from the legal staff present regarding the application forms and process. Many times, at these events, attendees leave the event with a complete application package ready to be submitted to USCIS.

"I am proud to be part of this program, which offers valuable assistance to our community members seeking to become citizens,” Addabbo said. “Citizenship is not just a status; it's a responsibility and a privilege. It provides the opportunity to fully participate in and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our nation, and to shape its future for the better."

During the event, CUNY Now! assessed attendees' eligibility for a fee waiver, potentially saving them a significant portion or the entire application fee. They received information and resources on various topics, including Civil Service job opportunities, applying to CUNY, preparing for the citizenship interview, and seeking interest-free loans for their citizenship application if they are ineligible for a fee waiver, among other valuable assistance.

“My office is proud to sponsor events that help newcomers to our country LEGALLY pursue a path towards the American Dream,” said Councilwoman Joann Ariola. “Since coming into office in 2022, we’ve directly assisted over 120 constituents on their journey to citizenship, and this event was able to expand our reach exponentially. It was great to see so many people going about things the right way, working with CUNY to become American citizens.”